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WC trophy in city amid uncertainty

Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh Football Federation president Kazi Salahuddin (R) unveils the FIFA World Cup trophy for prime minister Sheikh Hasina (L) at her residence on Tuesday. — Courtesy photo Bangladesh Football Federation president Kazi Salahuddin (R) unveils the FIFA World Cup trophy for prime minister Sheikh Hasina (L) at her residence on Tuesday. — Courtesy photo

The FIFA World Cup trophy arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday as a part of its 88-country tour ahead of 2014 tournament in Brazil.
FIFA officials arrived with the trophy on Tuesday at 12:30pm. BFF president Kazi Salahuddin received the party at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
The trophy was taken to the Bangabhaban, where President Abdul Hamid became the only Bangladeshi to hold the trophy.
The trophy was then taken to the prime minister’s residence before finally moving on to the Radisson Hotel, where around 15,000 people will have the opportunity to view it over the next two days before the trophy leaves Dhaka for Bhutan on Friday morning.
The World Cup trophy was originally scheduled to be displayed at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday, but FIFA has refused to show the prestigious trophy at the venue.
Organisers failed to explain why FIFA made the decision, but they confirmed that the trophy would be displayed at the Radisson Hotel and anyone who collected tickets from FIFA’s corporate partner Coca Cola over the last few days would have the opportunity to view the trophy at the hotel from today.
After FIFA’s decision, the organisers also reduced the whole trophy tour schedule.
`The venue has been changed and shifted to the Radisson Hotel from the BNS,’ said Coca Cola Bangladesh public relations officer Shamima Akter. 
The BFF had been eager to stick with the plan to display the trophy at the Bangabandhu National Stadium, but its efforts to reverse FIFA’s decision ultimately failed. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also personally wanted to adhere to the original schedule.
There had been speculation that FIFA’s decision came due to concerns about security given the ongoing political violence across the country, and that BFF sources said that attempts to keep the schedule as planned were made in an effort to save face internationally ahead of a pair of international events in Bangladesh.
With Bangladesh scheduled to hold two major international cricket tournaments, including the ICC World Twenty20, early next year, such worries would further demonstrate growing doubts about the host nation’s ability to provide tournament security.
However, BFF president Kazi Salahuddin indicated that FIFA’s concerns were about logistics, not security.
‘Security was not a problem, but we had to cancel the programme due to logistical reasons. FIFA were not aware that the trophy was to be displayed in such an open area, and they did not agree,’ the BFF president said in a briefing.


Bangladesh Football Federation president Kazi Salahuddin (R) unveils the FIFA World Cup trophy for prime minister Sheikh Hasina (L) at her residence on Tuesday. — Courtesy photo

Bangladesh Football Federation president Kazi Salahuddin (R) unveils the FIFA World Cup trophy for prime minister Sheikh Hasina (L) at her residence on Tuesday. — Courtesy photo

The FIFA World Cup trophy glows brightly upon being unveiled at a city hotel on Tuesday. — New Age photo

The FIFA World Cup trophy glows brightly upon being unveiled at a city hotel on Tuesday. — New Age photo



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